August 16, 2007 — Norway’s Gunn-Rita Dahle (Nor) Multivan-Merida, arguably the best female XC mountain biker the world has seen, will not defend her world title at the XC World Championships in Fort William, Scotland on September 8. Dahle holds the 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 XC World Championship titles, and her absence will be felt at the front of the women’s field in Scotland.
According to her blog, Dahle is laying low in northern Italy, resting and recovering from an intestinal virus that caught up with her in the spring and caused her to forfeit most of the season.
“I’m still not feeling totally well, but things are moving forwards,” wrote Dahle in her blog earlier this month. “Ten weeks with hardly any exercise has left me feeling out of shape and I have to accept that the racing season is over for me.”
Dahle won’t be staying away completely from competition, however. She will still be making appearances at various cycling events in Europe this season, including the Shell cycling race in Stavanger, Norway on August 19, the Norwegian bike race Birken, and world’s largest bike expo, EuroBike, in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
She also plans to travel to Beijing, China to take part in the Olympic test event on September 22. “No matter what shape and form the race there takes, this will be a very important trip for my preparations before the Olympic season next year,” she wrote.
Check out Dahle’s web site for more: www.gunnrita.com